Eugène Ysaÿe

Biography

Born: July 16, 1858; Liège, Belgium   Died: May 12, 1931; Liege, Belgium  
Eugène Ysaÿe was one of the greatest violinists who ever lived. He coupled beauty of tone and remarkable technical ability with a depth of musical expression that few violinists before or since can be said to have equalled, or even approached. Ysaÿe succeeded in breathing new life into an art that had become polarized by two divergent styles and personalities: the austere temperament of Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), and the flashy Read more virtuosity of Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908). Ysaÿe achieved a grand synthesis of these two approaches by imbuing the "serious" music of Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven, so dear to Joachim, with the flashy yet never superficial brilliance that Sarasate had been wont to apply to "lesser" works in the repertoire. Ysaÿe became the leading violinist of his time, spawning many illustrious pupils and proteges, among them Josef Gingold and Fritz Kreisler. Ysaÿe was also an accomplished composer, whose Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Opus 27 (1924) are recognized masterpieces of the genre.

Eugène Ysaÿe was born on July 16, 1858 in Liege, Belgium. He received his first violin lessons from his father when he was five years old. After this he studied with Rodolphe Massart, making his first public appearance at age seven. Ysaÿe was not, however, a prodigy; he was later kicked out of the Liege Conservatory due to poor performance! But he persisted, and went on to study with the famous violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski (1835-80) with whom he made considerable progress; he was soon accepted as a student by the legendary Belgian violinist-composer Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-81).

In 1879, Ysaÿe made the acquaintance of Joseph Joachim, and performed with Clara Schumann. He soon began touring, visiting Norway in 1881, and playing at the Paris Conservatory in 1883. In Paris, he befriended the composer Cesar Franck, who wrote his beautiful Sonata for Piano and Violin in A Major (1886) as a wedding present for Ysaÿe. This work soon became a signature piece for the violinist, who stamped it with his own inimitable style.

During this period, Ysaÿe founded the Concerts in Brussels that bore his name, as well as his own string quartet, which included his pupil Mathieu Crickboom, to whom Ysaÿe later dedicated the fifth of his Six Sonatas for Solo Violin. This ensemble premiered Claude Debussy's String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 10 in 1893. A year later Ysaÿe made his first appearance in America, where he met with tremendous sucess, finally returning in 1918 to take over the post of conductor for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra which he held until 1922.

After his retirement from conducting, Ysaÿe devoted himself fully to composing, and the teaching of a select group of pupils, including Josef Gingold, who later went on to achieve international fame. By this time, Ysaÿe's performance technique had declined, due to a rapid deterioration of his right-arm stability -- a condition known to violinists as "bow tremor." This was probably the result of diabetes, with which he had been struggling for some time. Despite the fact that his performance career lasted for only 25 years, Ysaÿe exercised a tremendous influence on violinsts -- an influence still being felt today. His personal aura and grand musical sensibility were only two aspects of a complex personality that not only "played" but also lived the music he held dear. He was an authentic performer, an artist of immense stature and unmatched musical ability. Eugène Ysaÿe died on May 12, 1931, at the age of 72. Read less
Ysaÿe: Solo Violin Sonatas / Ilya Kaler
Release Date: 02/17/2004   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555996   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 161 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    BBC Legends, Vol. 2
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: ICAB5141 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Niccolò Paganini,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Nathan Milstein,  Ernest Lush
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Hommage a Ysaye / Malov
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: SM275 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  George Enescu,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Sergey Malov
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  • 3.
    Beethoven, Ysaye, Schumann & Britten: Cello Works / Worlitzsch, Brauss
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 17463 Release Date: 10/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Robert Schumann,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Valentino Worlitzsch,  Elisabeth Brauß
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  • 4.
    Violin Works / Vengerov, Vinogradova
    Label: Biddulph   Catalog: 001 Release Date: 09/01/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Franz Waxman  ... 
    Performer:  Irina Vinogradova,  Maxim Vengerov
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  • 5.
    Ysaye: 6 Sonatas for Violin / Weintraub
    Label: Acqua Records   Catalog: AQ507 Release Date: 09/01/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Javier Weintraub
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  • 6.
    A Violin Solo / Lason
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1378 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Aleksander Lason
    Performer:  Krzysztof Lason
    CD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    French Treasures / Semenenko, Firsova
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38544 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Ernest Chausson,  Claude Debussy,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Aleksey Semenenko,  Inna Firsova
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  • 8.
    Ysaye & Marschner: Violin Duos / Starkloff, Penny
    Label: Coviello Classics   Catalog: 91706 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Wolfgang Marschner
    Performer:  Friederike Starkloff,  Myvanwy Ella Penny
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  • 9.
    Ysaye: 6 Sonatas for Solo Violin / Guzzo
    Label: Rubicon   Catalog: 1005 Release Date: 05/19/2017  
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Giovanni Guzzo
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  • 10.
    The Violin Battle / Draganov
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 267 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Philip A. Draganov
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  • 11.
    Ysaye: Les Furies - Kaunzner: Sojuchameleon
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 16086 Release Date: 03/03/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Viktoria Kaunzner
    Performer:  Viktoria Kaunzner
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  • 12.
    Reminiscences / Thomas, Libeer
    Label: La Dolce Volta   Catalog: 29 Release Date: 11/25/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Duparc,  Gabriel Fauré,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Camille Thomas,  Julien Libeer
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  • 13.
    Sequenza / Wawrowski
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 558280 Release Date: 11/25/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Bjarne Brustad,  Grazyna Bacewicz,  Krzysztof Penderecki  ... 
    Performer:  Janusz Wawrowski
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  • 14.
    Bach 2 the Future, Vol. 2 / Humphreys
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 118 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Adrian Sutton,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Sally Beamish,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Fenella Humphreys
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  • 15.
    Debut / Khalil
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 16044 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Gaspar Cassadó,  Dusan Bogdanovic,  Malcolm Arnold  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Khalil
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  • 16.
    Rewritings for Solo Violin / Cazzato
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 950003 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paolo Geminiani,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Ottavio De Lillo,  Antonio Di Iorio  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandro Cazzato,  Paolo Geminiani,  Joao Pedro Oliveira
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  • 17.
    Ysaye: 6 Sonatas for Solo Violin / Yim
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1226 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Jae-Hong Yim
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  • 18.
    Romantic Journey: Music for Violin & Piano / Lin, Jin
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1613 Release Date: 09/13/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel Ponce,  Grigoras Dinicu,  Jules Massenet,  Eugène Ysaÿe  ... 
    Performer:  Haoli Lin,  Hai Jin
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  • 19.
    Berl Senofsky in Concert at Expo '58, Brussels
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9470 Release Date: 08/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Józef Wieniawski,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Berl Senofsky,  Marie Louise Bastyns
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  • 20.
    Ysaye: Neiges d'Antan / Kantorow, Coeytaux, Salle Philharmonic, Liege
    Label: Musique En Wallonie   Catalog: 1681 Release Date: 06/24/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Svetlin Roussev,  Amaury Coeytaux
    Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
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  • 21.
    The Art of Midori
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518340 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Midori,  Robert McDonald,  Nobuko Imai,  Christoph Eschenbach
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Ysaye: Violin Sonatas / Zimmermann
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 554936 Release Date: 04/15/2016  
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann
    CD: $13.99
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  • 23.
    Ysaye & Yvonne / Smeulers
    Label: Genuin Classics   Catalog: 16417 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Yvonne Smeulers
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  • 24.
    Reve d'un enfant / Rosa, Powell
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 123 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Maurice Ravel,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Sophie Rosa,  Benjamin Powell
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    On Fire: The Virtuoso Violin / Koornhof, Vorster
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3479 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henri Wieniawski,  Alexander Glazunov,  William Kroll,  Balys Dvarionas  ... 
    Performer:  Piet Koornhof,  Bernarda Vorster
    CD: $17.99
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